Living Liturgies TRANSITIONING WITH GOD – Lent-Easter 2022 — updated

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022, close up of artwork (c)1978. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

Our Lenten journey this year features examples of God’s evolving companionship with the Hebrew people during significant transitions. These stories speak to our own Turning Time as we, too, look back, take a breath, and ponder a better future.

Ash Wednesday: “Tender Return” Joel 2. God’s MERCY (w/imposition of ashes) (published 2/22/22) A call for individual and communal humbling before God for the wellbeing of all beings.

Lent 1: “God’s Faithfulness: Gratitude for What WILL Come” Deuteronomy 26:1-11 with Installation of Officers and Holy Communion (published 3/1/22) Being grateful for what has not yet come – growing a spiritual imagination and trust in God.

Lent 2: “God’s Promises: Aligning to Wonder” Genesis 15:1-9 (published 3/10/22) God’s middle of the night conversation with Abram; honesty + wonder = new possibilities

Lent 3: “God’s Guidance: The Better Way Forward” Isaiah 55:1-9 (published 3/15/22) Taking a pause to be led by God; open to divine wisdom and guidance – despite our personal agendas.

Lent 4: “God’s Provision: Manna to Harvest” Joshua 5:9-12 (published 3/22/22) God provides as help is needed, but doesn’t encourage dependence. God’s gifts are not crutches to keep us reliant upon God in our weaknesses.

Lent 5: “God’s Innovation: A New Thing” Isaiah 43:15-21 (published 3/28/22) Opening to God’s New Thing after a season of loss.

Lent 6/Palm Sunday: “God’s Eternal Response: Steadfast Love” with Global Palm Processional Psalm 118:1-4; 19-29 and Luke 19:35-38 – waving palms (seated) and proclaiming God’s goodness in all places of suffering.

Maundy Thursday-Good Friday: “God’s Liberating Presence: Passover and Passion: Exodus 12:1-13, Psalm 22, and Stations of the Cross (published 4/1/2022) Liberation from physical and psychological slavery, God provides a way out of suffering and sin in all times, in many ways.

Easter: “God’s Presence: More to Come” John 20:1-18 (w/Holy Communion) What is still in progress? Where is God through the Eternal Christ rising among us?

Lent 3: “God’s Guidance: The Better Way Forward” Isaiah 55:1-9

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.” — John O’Donohue, 21st century Irish Christian spiritual guide

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. (Greet guest musician and visitors) We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers

Invocation (liturgist)

This Lent we travel with Jesus’ ancestors through times of critical transition. This Sunday, we listen to the great Hebrew prophet, Isaiah’s, message from God – a call to divine wisdom. As we carry the woes of the world, may the Light of God’s Illumination guide us. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (musician plays as pastor lights votives on altar)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

In times of distress we tend to react strongly. Some will jump into action as adrenaline flows. Others will be overcome with raw emotions and withdraw. And some will be swept up into a swirl of competing thoughts and impulses, unable to land our response. Thankfully, God calls us to focus upon the Divine Source of all Wisdom. From God, we may receive the help needed to deeply transform reoccurring problems.

When trouble arises, in our homes or across the sea, let us listen for the grace of God’s guidance. Let us meditate on the Way of Christ, a way forward bringing the most good to the most beings. Let us patiently trust the grace of divine guidance. God is with us and for all of us. Always.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 55: 1-9 (translation: NRSV) (liturgist)

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
   come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
   and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
   and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;
   listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
   my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made King David a witness to the peoples,
   a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
   and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
   for God has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while God may be found,
   call upon God while God is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
   and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that God may have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for God will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Taking a Pause” (pastor) Amid many challenges and responsibilities, taking a pause to seek God’s wisdom may make a world of difference.

Special Music (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Holy One, we are hungry for more than food and thirsty for more than water. We desire to know Your Ways – to think and do as You would have us do. Thank You, Source of All Life, for sending Jesus Christ to embody noble humanity. May we imitate the Beloved Christ carefully choosing our thoughts, words, and actions, making tangible Your transforming ways. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all – softly)

Please leave your donations in the basket in the entryway. Donations may also be mailed to the church, attn: Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

  • OGHS Promotion this week – handouts, envelopes
  • Ukraine Emergency Appeal

We Transition

Hymn “Be Thou My Vision” Chalice Hymnal #595 Words: Mary E Byrne; Music: Traditional Irish melody.  (musician)

Benediction (pastor)

God is always with us! God is always broadcasting a better way forward. God is always streaming higher thoughts to elevate our minds. God desires life abundant for all beings. May we be guided by God’s Big Love – going forth in peace and love, hope and right actions. Amen.

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: March 15, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Lent 2: “God’s Promises: Aligning to Wonder” Genesis 15: 1-9

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.” ― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Prelude (Vicky)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! We gather in this holy place as we begin the sacred season of Lent. Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. (Greet visitors) We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers

Invocation (liturgist)

This Lent we travel with Jesus’ ancestors through times of critical transition. May their authentic, astonishing faith in God’s fabulous promises inspire radical hope in us. We ask this in the name and light of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (Vicky plays as pastor lights votives on altar)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

The Bible is filled with stories of spiritual leaders talking with God – including their inability to believe in God’s boldest dreams. In these dialogues, God invites humanity to move through our internal challenges to enter a conscious openness to God’s magnificent promises. This Lent, may we have the courage to speak candidly with God that God may open us with wonder, hope, faith, and trust. What a grace it is to be honest with God.

Special Music (Vicky)

We Listen

Scripture: Genesis 15: 1-9 (transliteration: The Book of God, Walter Wangerin) (liturgist)

Then, in the middle of that night, God spoke.

          Fear not, Abram, God said, calling the old man by name. I am your shield. Your reward shall be very great.

          Abram did not move. He did not so much as shift his eye from the orange lamp-flame. But his jaw tightened.

          God said, Abram, northward of his place, southward and eastward and westward – all over the land as far as you can see, I will give to you and to your descendants forever.

          Still motionless and so softly that the wind outside concealed the sound of it even from his own ears, Abram breathed out these words: “So you have said. So you have said. But what, O Lord God, can you give us as long as we continue childless? “

          A wind took hold of the tent-flap and lifted it like a linen. The tent-flame glass guttered and went out.

          God said, Come. Abram, come outside.

On his hands and knees the old man obeyed.

          God said, Raise your eyes to heaven. Look to the stars, Abram. Count them. Can you count them?

          The old man said, “No. I cannot count them. They are too many. “

          Even so many, said the Lord God, shall be your descendants upon the earth.

          With the same gaze as he had earlier turned upon the lamp-flame Abram gaze toward heaven. Now there was no wind at all. The air was absolutely still. Nothing moved in the land, except that the man could hear the sighing of his old wife inside her compartment. 

          Abram said, “Is it required than that a slave born within my household must be my heir?“

          God said, Your own son shall be your heir.

          Abram said, “How shall I know that? How can I know, when you have given us no offspring?“

          Then the word of the Lord came to the old man.

          Abram? Said God. Have you seeing how a king will by a covenant establish his promise with his servant? Tomorrow, Abram. Tomorrow prepare the beasts. I am the Lord who brought you here to give you this land. Tomorrow I will make my covenant with you – and thereby shall you surely know my promises to you!

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Aligning to Wonder” (pastor) God tells Abram to leave his tent and look up at the nighttime stars – to fall up into wonder and faith in divine reality.

Special Music (Vicky)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Most Trustworthy One, sometimes we lose our way. We nurse our hurts and confusions, turning our gaze away from the wonders You have promised. Holy One, lure us away from unhelpful thoughts and feelings that we might join You, faces turned upward, to the brilliant star-filled night sky – open, open, open – to Your dreams for all Creation. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (Vicky; all)

Please leave your donations in the basket in the entryway. Donations may also be mailed to the church, attn: Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Begin OGHS Promotion this week – handouts, envelopes
  • Ukraine Emergency Appeal

We Relocate Outside

Moving Music (Vicky) Please transition outside.

Song: “Over My Head” African-American spiritual. TNCH # 514 (acapella)

Benediction (pastor)

When any kind of shadow falls – whenever we find ourselves huddled in tents of disbelief, may God blow open tent doors inviting us outside to look up! May our ancestors of faith join us, reminding us we are evidence of God’s Promises fulfilled – we are the stars Abram and Sarai once saw in dawning wonder. Go forth in peace, and in wonder, Dear Ones. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: March 10, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Lent 1: “God’s Faithfulness: Gratitude for What WILL Come” Deuteronomy 26:1-11 with Installation of Officers and Holy Communion

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, You who have brought us thus far on the way; You who have by Your might, Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray.” – James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) lyrics from “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! It is GOOD to back together in this holy place as we begin the sacred season of Lent. Jesus Christ has called us together as Beloved Community united by the Holy Spirit. We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers: For the Glory of God

Invocation (liturgist)

Eternal Christ, we begin this Lenten journey with You and Your ancestors. Jesus Christ, we ask Your blessing upon this spiritual season offering ourselves to You. May this Beloved Community be refined for the wellbeing of all beings. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (musician plays as pastor lights votives on the altar)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Before we notice, before we ask, God already knows our deepest joys and concerns. God is always as close as our souls. Today, our first Sunday back together in-person since Christmas Eve, God already knows the joy we feel in this reunion and the sorrow we feel for those who are missing. God has always been tending us, tending everyone. Let us rest in the grace of God’s incomprehensible love and eternal faithfulness.

Song or Special Music:

We Listen

Scripture: Deuteronomy 26:1-11 (version: NRSV) (liturgist)

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for His name. 

You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him,

“Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.”

When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, you shall make this response before the Lord your God:

“A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that You, O Lord, have given me.”

You shall set the basket down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: Anticipating God’s Faithfulness” (pastor) God speaks to the liberated Hebrews on their way out of bondage: The refugees WILL settle in a safe place; there WILL be a bountiful harvest for all to share; residents old and new WILL praise God together.

Special Music:

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Faithful One, usually, we are grateful after You have fulfilled our wishes. Pardon our selfishness. Today, on this first Sunday of Lent, we offer praise for the Good Things coming. We are grateful, Eternal Font of Love, for doing far more than we mortals could ever imagine. Open our minds and hearts that we might perceive glimmers of the blessed, healing future You have in store for humanity. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please leave your donations in the basket in the entryway. Donations may also be mailed to the church, attn: Treasurer Diane Huie.

We Relocate Outside

Moving Music:

Please transition outside. Pick up Holy Communion elements.

We Install 2022 Lay Leaders

Introduction (pastor)

We are here, together, in a circle. No one is greater than the other. We also knowledge the gifts of the Spirit among us, for God has given us gifts for the fulfillment of our mutual ministry. This is the way Jesus taught us to live and work together. Today, we covenant with those who were elected last Sunday. (Name officers, committees)

Covenants (UCC Book of Worship)

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Prayer of Invitation (pastor)

Everyone, everyone is welcome at God’s Table! God has brought us this far – through the challenges of the pandemic, through a time of change within our congregation, and through the normal ordeals of being human. God has brought us here, right now, to celebrate God’s faithfulness. Everyone, everyone is welcome at God’s Table!

Let us speak the names of those who are not physically present with whom we wish to be spiritually gathered – including people in Ukraine and Russia, especially our Christian siblings, who are in harm’s way. (Say names out loud.)

Consecration of Elements (pastor)

Let us pray:

As we call Your Holy Spirit into these elements, O God, we offer You our First Fruits. You made the plants of the earth and filled the land with various peoples. You lead us from one land to another, from danger to safety. With profound respect and gratitude, Holy One, we offer these communion elements to You remembering Your abiding faithfulness. Amen.

Sharing the Elements

The Hebrew people, preparing to depart Egyptian slavery, celebrated a sacred meal with unleavened bread and fermented juice praising God’s faithfulness with hope for what would come.

Generations later, Jesus and his disciples, preparing for liberation from mortal and moral challenges, celebrated the Exodus meal with bread and wine, joining their ancestors praising God’s faithfulness with hope for what would come.

Today, restored as community in this blessed place with our newly installed lay leaders, we join the ongoing celebration of God’s faithfulness with our safe breads and cups. We know God leads us, too, from bondage to freedom. We praise God’s faithfulness with hope for what will come.

Jesus lifted up the loaf, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

We remember Your faithfulness, O Christ. (eat bread)

After supper, Jesus lifted up the cup, gave thanks to God, and offered it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

We remember Your faithfulness, O Christ. (drink from cup)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Let us pray:

Beloved God, known to us as Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit, we are truly grateful for You. Bless us in our times of transition. May we work well together exchanging Your Big Love with each other for the uplift of many. Amen.

Announcements (pastor)

Song: “Great is Thy Faithfulness” (Chalice Hymnal #86)

Benediction (pastor, from today’s key scripture)

We are pilgrims on a Lenten journey recipients of God’s best gifts. So blessed, let us go forth in God’s Big Love and Transforming Peace. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: March 2, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Transfiguration Sunday “Whatever is True” Philippians 4:4-9 & Luke 9:28-36

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2018. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022

BCCC Worship Schedule

We return to Sunday in-person worship March 6th continuing to practice COVID-19 Safety Protocols indoors – vaxed, masked, distanced, no singing –  for the health of everyone.

We Gather

“My charge to you is quite simple, yet one that takes discernment and focus. It is simply this:  Give the church and its ministry back to God. Do this every day, every week, every month, in every season. This is your calling, your hope and your reason for being.” – Rev. Dr. Sharon Thornton at our service of Installation on October 6, 2019

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome this Transfiguration Sunday! We open ourselves to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ as we gather as community. We stand with our original hosts, the Lisjan-Ohlone people, protecting the West Berkeley Shellmound Sacred Site.

Altar Flowers given by Jane Mah and Norman Chong. Imagine a beautiful bouquet honoring another year of BCCC ministry.

Invocation (pastor)

While we are not on a mountain top, Beloved Christ, we are with You witnessing Your splendor. We envy Peter, James, and John who actually saw You illuminated with glory and heard God’s heavenly blessing.

As we light Your candle today, honoring this Annual Meeting Sunday, remind us to always put You first. To always turn our gaze to You, Eternal Christ, O Radiant One. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Joyful gestures and words of peace to one another.

We Rest in God’s Grace

Song: “Spirit of the Living God” Written by Daniel Iverson, 1926. Chalice Hymnal #259.

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

When Jesus’s disciples watched Jesus praying, they witnessed an amazing sight – the Transfiguration of Jesus! The two greatest Hebrew spiritual leaders – Moses and Elijah – then appeared and spoke to the luminous Jesus.

Witnesses Peter, John, and James wanted to build three sacred spaces, one each, for these three religious heroes. But they had misunderstood what they had experienced. The disciples had seen the two greatest Hebrew prophets recognizing their Messiah, our Messiah, The Messiah — Jesus Christ. God spoke from the heavens to clarify who Jesus is for the benefit of the confused disciples – those there at the time and all of us who have followed.

God knows we can misinterpret sacred moments. So, God keeps on speaking. God speaks in many different ways. Wise souls know to be open to being wonderfully corrected. God’s gifts are often far grander than we first imagine.

We Listen

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9 (version: NRSV) (pastor)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Let Us Think about These Things” (pastor) This is a Turning Time – not only globally as the pandemic shifts, but also among all communities of faith. Let us be sure to put first things first as we venture forward.

Special Music: “Shine, Jesus, Shine” Written by Graham Kendrick.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

O Magnificent One! O Radiant Christ! On this Transfiguration Sunday we praise Your earthly and eternal presence! As we focus on Your brilliance our hearts leap with hope – for You are the source of holy transformations. Today, we ask You to guide us forward as we offer our congregation back to You. Please bless that which needs fortifying and rearrange that which needs shifting. Please take away that which no longer serves and give us what we really need to be who You would have us be. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

Song: “Be Thou My Vision” Words: Mary E Byrne; Music: Traditional Irish melody. Chalice #595.

Benediction (pastor, from today’s key scripture)

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. May we ponder what is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise that the God of peace will dwell among us. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: February 23, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content, especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

Ash Wednesday “Tender Return” Joel:12-17 & Psalm 19:8-15 * God’s MERCY

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

BCCC Worship/Public Health Schedule

Beginning March 6, 2022, our Sunday worship services will be in person every Sunday. We will continue to follow our established indoor COVID-19 safety protocols. This Ash Wednesday evening service will be on ZOOM.

We Enter Sacred Space

“May all that is unforgiven in you / be released.” – John O’Donohue, Irish soul guide

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome to this contemplative service – a quieting time as we step into Lent, the spiritual season preparing for Easter. Please come as you are – open to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ and the Hebrew prophets. Trust the support and protection of this community. And, let us honor the Lisjan-Ohlone people, still alive, and their ancestors, grateful to be here upon their unceded territory and committed to healing relations among our peoples.

Preparing Your Home Sacred Space

Assemble bowl of water, cloth, as well as symbols of God’s mercy embodied in Jesus Christ. Please allow time after the service for further reflection.

Invocation (pastor)

We gather in the Holy Spirit drawn together.

We gather with supportive souls standing guard.

We gather protected by God’s eternal promises.

We gather safely open to a truing vulnerability.

We gather in the dark to be illuminated.

We gather in silence to hear wisdom’s voice.

We gather in genuine humility to be repaired.

We gather in hope drawn to God’s mercy.

May Christ be with us…

Light The Christ Candle (pastor) Amen.

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) kind gestures and words of peace

We Turn Inward

Song: “Come Thou Font” Lyrics by Robert Robinson, 1758. Music from Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second, 1813.

Invitation to Lenten Spiritual Practice (pastor)

Scripture: Joel 2:12-17 (NRSV)

Yet even now, says the Lord,
   return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
   rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
   for God is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
   and relents from punishing.
Who knows whether God will not turn and relent,
   and leave a blessing behind,
a grain-offering and a drink-offering
   for the Lord, your God?


Blow the trumpet in Zion;
   sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
   gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
   assemble the aged;
gather the children,
   even infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
   and the bride her canopy.


Between the vestibule and the altar
   let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.
Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord,
   and do not make your heritage a mockery,
   a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
   “Where is their God?”’

Reflection: “Tender Mercy” (pastor) A pastoral invitation to surrender to God what no longer serves.

Special Music: “Hymn of Mercy” Music by Dan Forrest. Lyrics by Eileen Berry (based on Hosea 14:1-4).

Prayer, Private Confession, and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

Private Confession and Silence. Amen. (pastor)

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Dear Ones, we have been called to this sacred space for transformation. If invited, God will remove the heavy, scratchy cloaks of shame and regret we wear. If invited, God will tenderly anoint the wounds that don’t seem to heal. If invited, God will add an unexpected gift to our waking consciousness lifting our spirits and energy.

Beloveds, this is how God’s grace works. When we turn toward God humbly asking God to change us, God does what is God’s to do. God has granted us great freedom and will not overtake us. We must invite God to act. God is pleased whenever any being genuinely asks for holy help. Praise be to our loving God.

We Focus Upon God

Scripture: Psalm 19:8-15 (The Psalter, Liturgical Training Publications, ©1994)

God’s perfect love revives the soul.

God’s stable rule guides the simple.

God’s just demands delight the heart.

God’s clear commands sharpen vision.

God’s spotless decrees stand for ever.

God’s right judgments keep their truth.

Their worth is more than gold, the purest gold;

Their taste richer than honey, sweet from the comb.

Keeping them makes me rich, they bring me light;

Yet faults hide within us, forgive me mine.

Keep my pride in check, break its grip;

I shall be free of blame for deadly sin.

Keep me, thought and word, in Your good grace.

Lord, You are my savior, You are my rock. 

Confessional Prayer with All Beings

Holy One, made real to us in the person of Jesus Christ, tonight we return to the ancient practice of confession that we might do our part to restore what we have broken. We come before You in the fullness of our dignity, agents of awareness and responsibility, for we know we are Yours and we are blessed. We choose to submit to Your will. Have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us.

Author of All Live, as we attend the private matters of our own souls, we are also mindful that we are a people among peoples, and a being among beings. We acknowledge that we have acted, and we have supported those who act in our name, in ways that have torn the essential weave of our interdependence. Bless the ambassadors of Your Big Love who come to show us how to restore what has been damaged. Have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us.

Source of Hope and Meaning, we honor Your superior reality even as we do not fully understand You. May we grow to trust the inclinations of our souls, believing in goodness and integrity, mercy and hope, these wondrous eternal springs of Your Big Love flowing through all Creation. Blessed One Who Is, fill us with faith and forgive us for we have falsely worshipped idols. Have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us.

Let us now join, with heavenly and earthly beings speaking all manner of languages, as we pray together the prayer our Dear Lord Jesus taught us to pray:

The Lord’s Prayer (unison)

Special Music: “Create in Me” Written by Terry Talbot.

We Receive the Ashes

The ash cross on our foreheads is a symbol of a very ancient practice of rubbing ash onto the body as a sign of humility before God. For us mortals, one day we will die and our bodies will return to the earth. However, God who is immortal will never die.

We are gathering virtually, marking the foreheads or backs of hands of those in our households, including ourselves. Though apart, we engage in this practice together – blessing each other – linked by God’s Holy Spirit.

Dip a finger into the ash. Make a horizontal line on the forehead.

May God burn away that which is no longer needed.

Dip a finger into the ash. Make a vertical line on the forehead, bottom-up.

That we may rise with Christ on Easter morn.

Special Music: “Abide with Me” (new tune)Words: Henry F Lyte, 1847. Music: Lowana Wallace, 2017. New version of the original by William Henry Monk, 1861.

Benediction (pastor)

Dear Ones, these are important Turning Times. God is offering humanity a new way forward. May the blessing of our personal reconciliations with God prepare us to travel well with others this Lenten journey. May we follow the Way of Christ illuminated by the Hebrew Prophets. May God’s transforming will be done. Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: February 22, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

7th Sunday after The Epiphany “Pressed, Shaken, and Running Over” Luke 6:27-38

Image: Save West Berkeley Shellmound invitation ©2022 #savetheshellmound. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

BCCC Worship Schedule

Due to COVID spread, all worship services will 2pm Sundays on ZOOM through February 2022

We Gather

“In the kingdom of love there is no competition, there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” – John O’Donohue, Irish soul guide (1956-2007)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome! We open ourselves to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ gathering as a community of hope. We stand with our original hosts, the Lisjan-Ohlone people, protecting the West Berkeley Shellmound Sacred Site.

Altar Flowers

Imagine a beautiful bouquet of flowers celebrating the Chinese Lantern Festival.

Invocation (pastor)

Dear sweet Jesus, You ask us to love our enemies. We know that You can do this – but then You are The Anointed One, The Christ. When You were human, did You struggle with natural, mortal tendencies to judge, condemn, and withhold forgiveness? Today, as we light Your candle, we ask for the transforming grace to be more like You – loving as You love – loving everyone, even our enemies. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Joyful gestures and words of peace to one another.

We Rest in God’s Grace

Song: “Fairest Lord Jesus” Lyrics: Munster Gesangbuch (hymnal) 1677, translated Madeleine Forell Marshall, 1993; Tune: Silesian folk melody, SCHONSTER HERR JESUS, 1677. (Chalice Hymnal #44)

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Dear Ones, God does what is God’s to do and we are to do what is ours to do. These efforts are wondrously interconnected – especially when we strive to love those who have hurt us or who frighten us. Our natural, survival instincts push us to critically judge and remember potential agents of harm. But we are more than vulnerable mammals. We are also bearers of Christ’s love.

God’s grace may appear as courage when we try to love the unlovable – in others, in ourselves. When we truly begin to release us/them attitudes our minds open to new possibilities, our hearts soften, our bodies calm, and our souls settle into a redemptive peace. These transitions, Dear Ones, are not of our doing – they are the flowing of God’s Big Love. When we try to love as Jesus Christ loves, we open a gate for God’s grace to enter. We are blessed beyond measure.

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 6:27-38 (version: NRSV) (pastor)

In St Luke’s gospel, this is the second teaching Jesus gives to his newly called disciples.

[Jesus said,] “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Pressed, Shaken, AND Running Over” (pastor) Practicing Big Love in the real world – inspiration from those practicing love in the midst of not-love

Special Music: “Pressed Down, Shaken Together, & Running Over” Written by Joe Fair, Ralph Graham, Paul Cuoco. ©1972.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Dear God, You know well that we’ve all been hurt and that we’ve all hurt others. Through Jesus Christ, You continue to teach us that playing the “enemy and victim” game only keeps conflicts and wars going. You call us to shed such childish ways and practice Big Love – a love that includes everyone and every part of ourselves we believe is unacceptable. O Mighty One, press us down and shake us together until Your compassion, mercy, and forgiveness flow throughout us to everyone, even those once labeled “enemy.” Thank You. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

Song: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” Written by Sebastian Temple (1928-97)

Benediction (pastor)

Love our enemies? With God’s help we can! We can give what we wish to receive. Jesus promises us that in offering patience and compassion, mercy and forgiveness we will receive our “Good Measure,” too!

Beloveds, let us practice Big Love – and in so doing contribute to a climate of peace. Amen!

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, (c) 2022, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: February 15, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

6th Sunday after The Epiphany “Listen, Listen: Love, Love” 1 Corinthians 13

Photo: Milagro (miracles) Heart photographed by Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2018. Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022

BCCC Worship Schedule: Due to COVID spread, all worship services will 2pm Sundays on ZOOM

We Gather

“I work in my community to listen and bring love where love has not yet arrived.” – Father Greg Boyle, found/director Homeboy Industries

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome in our community of faith! We are open to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ. We gather as community – as we can, when we can – to love God, our neighbors, each other, and our own precious souls. We stand with our original hosts, the Lisjan-Ohlone people, in support of healing relations and reparations.

Altar Flowers

Imagine a beautiful bouquet of flowers celebrating God’s Big Love.

Call to Worship (pastor)

Let the words of our mouths proclaim God’s Big Love.

Let the thoughts of our minds track God’s Big Love.

Let the deeds of our faith manifest God’s Big Love.

Let the gifts we give share God’s Big Love.

Let us praise and proclaim God’s Big Love revealed in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Joyful gestures and words of peace to one another.

We Rest in God’s Grace

*Song: “Community of Christ” Words: Shirley Erena Murray, 1985. Music: Hebrew Melody; arr. Meyer Leoni, 1780. (Chalice Hymnal #655)

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

Beloved Ones, when we are lovingly patient and kind this is evidence of God’s grace. When “something” steers us away from our natural, human tendencies to boast, be arrogant or rude; or when irritation and resentment crumble; God’s grace is at work. When we feel no joy when another fails and find the courage to speak the truth, God’s grace is mercifully transforming us for the wellbeing of everyone. So much grace! Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13 (version: NRSV) (pastor)

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Listen, Listen; Love, Love” (pastor) The real Saint Valentine and Father Greg Boyle open their hearts to God and community.

Special Music: “Cover the World with Love” Written by Jerry Estes. Signs from Joy of Signing, 2nd ed., by Lottie L. Riekehof.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Honestly, God, we all hunger for Big Love – Your love that patches our wounded parts, that pulls us up and out, and that slows us down and calls us to really rest. Today, we pray for our own precious selves to more fully know Your Big Love that we might love others better. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

Song: “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” Words: Charles Wesley, 1743; Music: John Zunchel, 1870. (Chalice #517)

Benediction (pastor) (1 Corinthians 13:7, 12-13 slightly adapted)

“Love hears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Now we see in mirrors dimly, but later on, we’ll see face to face. Now we know in part, but later on, we will know fully, as we are fully known. Now, faith, hope, and love abide – these three – and the greatest of these is love.”

Let us go forth in God’s Big Love. Peace, Dear Ones, Big Love Peace!

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: February 8, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

5th Sunday after The Epiphany “Drinking from the River of Pure Joy” Psalm 36:5-10 with Holy Communion

Photo: Happy New Year artwork by Noel Granada ©2022. Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022

BCCC Worship Schedule: Due to COVID spread, all worship services will 2pm Sundays on ZOOM

Celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Tiger

We Gather

“Happy Lunar New Year to all, and may the Year of the Tiger be filled with the tiger’s strength and prowess as we fight the pandemic, anti-Asian hate, divisive geopolitical rhetoric and many more struggles.” – Jennifer Wargo, China Programs at Michigan State University

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

新年快乐 Sun Nin Fai Lok! Everyone is welcome who is open to God’s loving presence revealed in Jesus Christ. We gather as community – loving and supporting each other with God’s help. Our ministry is housed in Huichin Village, unceded Lisjan-Ohlone territory, also known as Berkeley, California.

Altar Flowers

Imagine a beautiful bouquet of flowers celebrating loved ones on this first Sunday of the New Year.

Invocation (pastor)

As we begin a New Year, let us rejoice in God’s majesty! (inspired by Psalm 36:5-7)

God, Your love rises like the clouds! (lift arms up)

God, Your love is strong like the mountains! (fingertips together)

God, Your love is deep like the seas! (swoosh lowered arms)

God, Your love is given to everyone – people and animals! (extend arms out)

God, Your love is priceless, our greatest treasure! (hands on heart)

Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Joyful gestures and words of peace to one another.

We Rest in God’s Grace

Song: “Peace Like a River” African-American Spiritual (Chalice Hymnal #530)

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

God is truly amazing! God is everywhere offering life and well-being to all beings. There is no place that God is not. However, there are times when we do not feel God’s good, empowering presence. Today, as we begin a New Year, let us remember we can always pause and soak in God’s presence, even if we can’t feel it. May this eternal grace bless us all our days.

We Listen

Scripture: Psalm 36:5-10 (CEB) (pastor)

Your loyal love, Lord, extends to the heavens,
   Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the strongest mountains,
   Your justice is like the deepest sea.
   Lord, You save humans and animals.

Your faithful love is priceless, God!
   Humanity finds refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the bounty of Your house;
   You let them drink from Your river of pure joy.
Within You is the spring of life.
   In Your light, we see light.

Extend Your faithful love to those who know you;
   Extend Your righteousness to those whose heart is right.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Meditation “Drinking from the River of Pure Joy” (pastor) This is the year of the Water Tiger — bold, brave energy softened by life-flowing water. This meditation will lead us to God’s River of Pure Joy where we will drink like a mighty tiger seeking holy sustenance.

Special Music: “Für Elise” written by Ludwig van Beethoven

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Almighty God, how grateful we are that You have led us safely through a challenging year and guided us into this new one. May we always remember to orient ourselves to You. When we are tempted by passing glories, may our souls ache for Your eternal wonders. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Celebrate Holy Communion

Prayer of Invitation

Holy One, with all people around the earth, we come to You to be restored and nurtured. We long to drink from the River of True Joy. We bow down to You, together, as we prepare to celebrate the first Holy Communion of this Year of the Tiger. Amen.

Let us speak the names of those who are not physically present with whom we wish to be spiritually gathered. (Say names out loud.)

Consecration of Elements

Place hands on the cup and the bread in your household. Let us pray:

Glorious One, Your loyal love permeates the universe! Today, we humbly ask that You bless our cups and pieces of bread with Your healing presence. Empower us to be Your people in the year ahead. Amen.

Sharing the Elements

Like Jesus’ disciples, we are drawn to Christ, eager to receive what only God may give us. We enter kairos time, joining Jesus and his beloveds at the table…

Jesus lifted up the loaf, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said: “Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

May we feed on the Bounty from God’s House. (eat bread)

After supper, Jesus lifted up the cup, gave thanks to God, and offered it to them saying: “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

May we drink from the River of Pure Joy. (drink from cup)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Let us pray:

We have offered our hearts to You, O God, in the way of Christ, grateful for Your faithfulness, righteousness, generosity, and mercy. So blessed, we ask You to fortify our community for redemptive ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. May the blessings we receive be shared with others. Amen.

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

Next Sunday: 2pm ZOOM – a Valentine’s Big Love Sunday

Song: “Great is Thy Faithfulness” Words: Thomas O Chisholm. Music: William M Runyan. 1923. (Chalice Hymnal #86)

Benediction (pastor)

Beloved Ones, let us welcome this Year of the Tiger leaning down to The River of Pure Joy to receive the precious gifts God will bestow upon our households, our church, our community, and all beings. 新年快乐 Sun Nin Fai Lok! Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: February 3, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

4th Sunday after The Epiphany “It Takes Two” Luke 4:14-21

Photo: Couple walking on the beach at Asilomar, Pacific Grove CA. Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2013. Worship format and original contentRev. Kathryn M. Schreiber (c) 2022.

NOTE: This service builds on our 3rd Sunday after Epiphany’s content “An Acceptable Year” – last week’s post.

We Gather

“There is nothing anti-intellectual in the leap of faith, for faith in not believing without proof but trusting without reservation.” – Rev. William Sloane Coffin

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! No matter who you are… no matter where you are on your faith journey… you are welcome! We are gathering electronically from various places, including Huichin Village, the original name given to the unceded Lisjan-Ohlone territory where we practice ministry.

Call to Hope (pastor)

How can we believe what we have not seen? How can we trust what we have not experienced? Our mortal limitations are real.

God offers divine hope – a hope that changes us, changes our world. May we offer ourselves to God for an uplifting illumination of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.

O Redemptive Living Christ, bless us with Your presence!

Light The Christ Candle (pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (pastor)

Passing the Peace (all) Joyful gestures and words of peace to one another.

We Rest in God’s Grace

Song: “The Gift of Love” Written by Hal B. Hopson, 1972. (Chalice Hymnal #526)

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence) Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

With God there is no scarcity of goodness. In fact, God has an overflowing supply of wonders to deliver if we would but accept delivery. God has a very special blessing for each of us today. May we gentle our old excuses and false postures of humility to be genuinely grateful and happily receive what God most dearly wishes to bestow. Amen.

We Listen

Scripture: Luke 4:21-30 (NRSV) (pastor) Today’s reading overlaps last Sunday’s Gospel reading – we are still in Nazareth in the synagogue with Jesus and his hometown community as his ministry begins.

And Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then Jesus began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

All spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”

Jesus said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’”

And Jesus said, “Truly I tell you; no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Sermon “It Takes Two” (pastor) Jesus explains that God’s activity is dependent upon our faith, a message that doesn’t go over well in his hometown.

Special Music: Bird’s Teardrops” Written by Estas Tonne with Peia.

We Pray

Prayer Requests (all)

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

O Generous God, in Jesus Christ we experience Your prophetic care within humanity, yet we struggle to believe this is possible. We want You to be the mighty magician who fixes us, fixes our world, without our effort. Grant us the wisdom to perceive Your call to a mutual ministry working with You and our neighbors. And, grant us, O Lord, the courage to embrace Your unbelievable, prophetic dream liberating all beings from suffering. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

We Give

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (all; acapella) Please mail your donations to the church or directly to Treasurer Diane Huie.

Song: “Take My Life and Let It Be” Written by Frances R Havergal, 1874. (Chalice Hymnal #608)

Benediction (pastor)

Dear Ones, we are tethered to one another by God’s design. There is enough of everything for everyone, if we trust in God. Let us go forth in peace and hope following Jesus Christ with prophetic courage! Amen.

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceeded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: January 25, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”